A Guide to Pregnancy with PCOS

Pregnancy with PCOS
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Maternity is perhaps the most joyful experience for many women. However, with health issues such as PCOS, it is not an easy journey for every woman. With advancements in science, pregnancies for women with polycystic ovary syndrome is no longer a massive hurdle.

With the right treatments and health planning, one can have a complication-free pregnancy. Read on to understand how PCOS affects pregnancy, what you can do about it and what to expect from postpartum PCOS.

Understanding PCOS

PCOS revolves around enlarged ovaries with smaller cysts surrounding them. The most prominent symptom is the increase in androgen production, the male counterpart of the female hormone – estrogen.

Due to its range of symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, acne, and insulin resistance, PCOS is difficult to diagnose.

With infertility being one of the most common symptoms, pregnancies aren’t always easy to navigate.

Ovulation Control

The hormonal change alters one’s ovulation cycle, which is the primary cause of PCOS-linked infertility. The high levels of androgens influence egg development and release. Impaired egg development is visible in the form of irregular periods and frequently missed menstruation cycles.

The first step to a healthy pregnancy is regulating your period, and the most commonly prescribed method is through birth control pills.

These birth control pills prescribed by your physician are hormone-filled pills having estrogen and progesterone. They reduce androgen production and can help in maintaining a regular period cycle.

Always consult a doctor because some cannot withstand a combination pill and require a progesterone-only birth control pill.

Ovulation

One cannot conceive when on a steady dose of birth control pills to regulate menstrual cycles. However, once the ovulation cycle is relatively stable, one switches to medicines that help induce ovulation.

These medicines include Clomiphene and metformin. If these are too weak, your doctor might administer a follicle-Stimulating Hormone/ Luteinizing Hormone shot.

Specialist Consultation

Navigating pregnancies with PCOS is quite a daunting task. With each body being built differently, it is crucial to consult a fertility specialist or reproductive doctor at every step.

A specialist can understand which medicines will work better, prescribe the exact doses, and recommend the most effective procedures.

Lifestyle Changes

Weight and diet can control one’s pregnancy exponentially. For many women with polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity is a recurring issue.

However, losing 10% of this weight can help stabilise menstrual cycles and may return hormonal levels to normal.

A typical healthy lifestyle includes a well-rounded diet, regular exercise and abstinence from smoking and alcohol. These habits can significantly improve hormonal health.

As a result of PCOS, the body is prone to additional health issues. Minute changes to one’s lifestyle to make it healthier can help improve your chances of conceiving.

PCOS Complications

With PCOS, one encounters a few more hurdles with pregnancy in comparison to a typical pregnancy. This sensitivity makes it a good idea to consult a fertility specialist at every step of the way. The first step one must take is understanding the risks involved in conceiving with PCOS.

Research shows that women with PCOS are more likely to require a caesarean delivery. Additionally, babies born from PCOS pregnancies have higher chances of being admitted into the Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The chances of encountering these complications are exponentially low if one regularly keeps tabs on their PCOS symptoms and hormonal health.

With extra care, anything is possible, and your maternal journey will be enjoyable and stress-free!

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